Will Writing Services
A will is one of the most important legal documents you will ever produce, and is the only way to ensure that your wishes are carried out and your estate is divided in the way that you choose.
Quite simply, a will is the only way to ensure your assets go where you want them to go after your death. A will is one of the most important legal documents you will ever produce, and getting it right is essential. Working with professional will writers ensures that all of your wishes are carried out the way you’d like them to be.
When a person dies without a valid will, the “Rules of Intestacy” apply. This means that your estate will be divided by the calculations that are set out in the law. There are some serious implications to this:
Unmarried partners, lesbian or gay partners not in a civil partnership, relations by marriage (i.e. your in-laws), close friends and carers do not have any rights to inherit if you have no will
Yes, you can change your will as often as you like during your lifetime. But you should not try and amend an existing will by writing on it, it is important to make any changes properly otherwise they may not be legally binding. This usually means creating a new will, or adding a special addendum, called a Codicil, to your existing will. We can help you make sure any changes you’d like to make are properly included in your final will.
It is important to store your will in a way that ensures it is protected from loss, and to let your executors know where to find it. Abbotts Wills offer will storage, so that you don’t have to worry about misplacing the document, or losing it in a flood or fire.
An Executor is the person nominated in your will to carry out your directions. They are legally responsible for completing the probate process. An Executor’s duties include obtaining the estate information, collection and arranging for payment of debts, completing necessary forms, ensuring tax is paid and distributing the assets according to the will.
The Executor can do this themselves, or they can engage a professional to handle the process. There are strict regulations, and if the process is not managed correctly it is possible for the Executor to find themselves personally liable for the deceased’s debts and any losses involved. Hiring a professional avoids these concerns, as we can ensure that everything is taken care of correctly. A Beneficiary can be named as an Executor.
There is no requirement for an Executor to be a legal or financial expert, although many people do choose to appoint someone with these skills. The main thing to consider when choosing who to name as Executor is that they have honesty, integrity and diligence.
A Trustee is responsible for using the money or assets in a trust to benefit another person or persons.
The way the money or assets are to be used must be in accordance with the details set out in the trust.
Trustees are the legal owners of any assets held in a trust. Their role is to:
The trust can continue even though the trustees might change. However, there must be at least one trustee. Often there will be a minimum of two trustees. One trustee may be a professional familiar with trusts – a lawyer, for example – while the other may be a family member or relative.
A trust is a legal arrangement where one or more ‘trustees’ are made legally responsible for holding assets. The assets – such as land, money, buildings, shares or even antiques – are placed in trust for the benefit of one or more ‘beneficiaries’
The trustees are responsible for managing the trust and carrying out the wishes of the person who has put the assets into trust (the ‘settlor’). The settlor’s wishes for the trust are usually written in their will or set out in a legal document called ‘the trust deed.’
Trusts may be set up for a number of reasons, for example:
Probate is the process that Executors follow, before applying for the Grant of Probate. It is sometimes called administering the estate. Probate can be a complicated process, involving various forms that must be filed, and non-professional Executors will need to attend a court hearing to obtain the Grant.
There’s no definite answer to this question, it generally depends on how complicated the estate is. But it will usually take a number of months – between 3 and 6 months for a relatively simple estate, to many more for a complex situation. If you’d like to know more about the process please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.